Myth-busting Social Media Costs and Benefits

Social Media is fabulous - or is it? Delve into the myths and truths of social media.

Authored by:

iClick2Learn Team

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Let’s talk about some myths of social media. Social media is free, yeah, of course, but the time that you spend isn’t. The photos that you need to get permissions for stock photos isn’t. There’s always a cost. If it doesn’t cost you to pay for it, there’s always a cost in labor, there’s always a cost in experience, in upskilling, in knowledge. The amount of time that you spend doing research on how to do a meme and what key marketing message or what persona you should use. So make sure that you really do value that cost, because that will help you realize whether that platform, whether that social media platform, so Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, etc. Is actually delivering the results you need. 

Another myth is that you need to participate in everything. Look, honestly, there are so many different social media platforms out there. Really there are top four in Australia, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, for some it’s Pinterest, for some it’s Google Plus. Yeah sure, there’s a top four, but actually what works for you? We’ve got presence across the top four, but we don’t actively participate in all of them. In some of them, we just maintain a presence, just to be there, but others is actually where we get our results and that’s where we focus on. So you don’t need to be participating in everything. You need to participate in certainly the platforms where your audience is.

Another myth is that success will happen overnight. Build it and they will come! No, it doesn’t work like that, does it? It takes time to grow an audience, you know, and these people that say, “Oh, we’ve got this many friends” and “We did this many videos,” you know, a digital marketer said that on their Facebook page the other day and I thought, Really, you’re a digital marketer and you’re saying you’ve got 10,000 friends on a event page. It means nothing. What conversion to event sales ticket did that actually deliver? That’s the stuff that matters. How many conversations were created about the event? 

How many click-throughs were created through your posts? That’s the stuff that matters. So success isn’t going to happen overnight. You’re going to have to try all things and see what works. And then you’ll get the secret sauce, then you’ll understand your audience better. So don’t think it’s going to, you know, build it, put a Facebook page up, and it’s going to happen overnight, and we’ll get all these friends. It takes time.

Another myth is that you can hire someone to do it for you. Look, the best person to promote your organisation and to promote what you’re doing are the people that are passionate about it, and that’s you, that’s your team, that’s your volunteers. You know, hiring somebody to do it for you actually takes a lot of time. They need to get the stuff out of your brain, they need to have conversations with you about what stories they can share. What you should be doing is up-skilling yourself and your team. That’s where you should focus your money and time and resources, not on hiring someone to do it for you.

So now we’ve talked about the pros, cons, myths, and truths of social media. What you need to do is ask, is social media right for you? And there are some questions that you need to answer before you decide if it’s right. Who is your target audience? What are your priorities or your goals? What are your objectives for marketing? What kinds of content do you have or can you produce on an ongoing basis? 

And how is it actually going to manage and measure the results out of your social media activities and the audiences and the communities that you’re connecting and engaging with. Do you have a budget? What is it that you’re spending on these activities. You need to actually ask yourself those questions and have definitive answers about that before you decide whether you should jump in feet first and get a page and spend all that time and energy doing social media, when it’s not going to be the right medium for you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our brief look at the pros, cons, myths and truths of social media. And I really do hope that you really think strategically about why you want to be on social media, and what you’re using it for, and what you want to get from it. This course wasn’t about detracting you from it, it was just about a reality check. 

It was about saying you really need to strategically think about what you’re doing on social media, and not just treat it like a newspaper ad. Make sure that you’re allocating the time and resources, because when it does work, it’s magic. When it does work, it delivers so many results for you. So I hope this has helped you think through some of those challenges and opportunities that you can recognise in using social media in your marketing mix.

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